Happy Feet (Widescreen) product details page

Happy Feet (Widescreen)

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In 2005, March of the Penguins identified a real appetite among moviegoers for flightless waterfowl. (As movie characters, mind you, not menu items.) The next year, Happy Feet drove that phenomenon over the top, grossing just shy of 200 million dollars on its way to upsetting perennial favorite Pixar for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. The victory was an upset not just because Pixar's Cars was better than expected, but also because Happy Feet isn't as good as the numbers suggest. George Miller's film does benefit from a delightful concept. According to Happy Feet, the mating ritual made famous by March is actually a matter of mutual serenade, with penguins finding their soul mates to the strains of modern pop music. But Happy Feet gets kind of stuck in this concept phase, never blossoming into an involving narrative. Mumble, voiced by Elijah Wood, is your standard outsider -- insert your favorite ugly duckling metaphor here. But his supposed deficiency is that he dances rather than sings -- a complementary skill, one would think, whose uniqueness should elevate him, rather than ostracizing him toward a mission of heroic redemption. This mission allows for some strong set pieces and breathtaking images of the Antarctic landscape and fauna, but it also brings audiences into contact with two super-annoying Robin Williams characters, both voiced as politically incorrect racial stereotypes. By the time it's finished, Mumble's journey has gone places that stretch even the minimal logic required for a kid's movie. Perhaps that gets at the shortcomings of the entire film. While it's infectious enough to slot right in as a new classic for young children, and visually advanced enough to wow audiences of any age, it's also flawed enough that adults won't want to join in on their kids' inevitable repeat viewings. Derek Armstrong, All Movie Guide